Gastronomes in London: a WineBuzz journey in the British capital

Connaught by Hélène Darroze – how 2 Michelin stars taste like?

My gastronomic weekend in London starts like this: not even the time to get off the plane that I find myself catapulted at Mayfair in the beautiful Connaught, one of the most elegant and luxurious restaurants in the city.
Two elegant doormen welcome us in one of the most majestic entrances. As soon as we step into the hotel, we see an imposing wooden staircase in front of us, dating back to 1900. Then , we proceed towards the restaurant of the best woman chef in 2015, Hélène Darroze.
The restaurant was recently restructured, and this has led to the abandonment of the solemn and traditional style in favor of an elegant minimalism, enriched by the nice touch of different elements as the ceramics of Ema Pradere and the Hermès restrooms.

The Dinner

Now, let’s not get distracted anymore, as it is time to concentrate on the dishes!
After some welcome-delights (the Oxfordshire butters in particular) accompanied by an incredible Dom Pérignon P2 2002. Our tasting itinerary begins with caviar, foie gras, Wagyu beef and white truffle from Alba.
The dishes are very rich (too much for my tastes), in full London style paired with: Riesling 2009 Clos Sainte Hune, Mersault 2015 (an amazing Burgundy), Chambolle Musigny 2014, up to a Tokaji Szamorodni 2013.

We end our night with a visit of the cellar, a slice of heaven adorned with walls of Petrus, Latour, and Sassicaia. In order not to miss anything, we sit at the hotel bar (the best bar of Europe in 2019 according to the World’s 50 Best Bars) to taste their famous Martini, served with a curious tool that gives a force equivalent to the one that would occur pouring it from a building of 11 flats!!
A great start to the weekend we might say!

A Street Food Stop: The Metropolitan Market

After a fancy night, we decide to spend Saturday morning around the Metropolitan Market!
The Metropolitan Market is a very cool project, with an Italian soul, but with a global and dynamic view that strongly encourages the usage of local products. I love it. For all the street and ethnic food fans, this is your place!
As soon as you enter, you will be immediately captivated by a thousand different smells, by a calm and convivial atmosphere and by a vast choice of stands and tables where to settle!

A wine counter will allow you to buy your own bottle (along with glasses) that you can consume everywhere you want while eating a delicious Mexican burrito, a Lebanese wrap or simply with an Italian pizza!
This project is registering a remarkable success and the request of opening other markets such as this one comes from all over the world!
For this reason, I think that a stop at the market is mandatory, in the name of good food, curiosity, and sustainability!

A Pleasant Surprise at Eneko Basque Kitchen

The last stop of the gastronomic weekend was quite a case. In fact, everything arose from the idea of a friend who suggested to meet there for lunch. Eneko, located in the heart of Coven Garden, is a restaurant of the three Michelin stars chef Eneko Atxa. Characterized by a modern and informal style it has a precise focus: the incredible, and often not considered, Basque cuisine.

Tasting Menu

Our tasting menu starts with cold cuts of the king: the Jamon of Joselito. To follow, we had marinated red mullet, Bay of Biscay scallops (incredible dish for both the “vaporous” presentation and the sweetness of these shells), Galician grilled octopus and eggplant purees burned with pepper sauce.

The element that made our experience very interesting was the combination of Basque wines, allowing us to taste new vineyards such as the Godello of Galicia, the Hondarrabi Zuru and
the Zerratia
Even though this venue could not compete with the extreme luxury of the Connaught, it certainly was a pleasant surprise. The unexpected that any gourmand armed with curiosity looks for while trying a new restaurant!

Hope you enjoyed the reading,
take care

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